By: Cholla Nicoll, BRN Borderlands Wildlife Preserve Lead Technician
As October approaches, some of us begin to feel the magic that fall brings cooler temperatures, muted colors, and holidays celebrating the mysteries of life, death, and the unknown. Images of pumpkins, skulls, and owls begin to appear, and life slows down just a touch with the abundance of spring and summer fading. Lately, the preserve wildlife cameras have captured the same feeling highlighting one particularly hauntingly beautiful creature with quite the reputation for mysterious powers, the barn owl.
Barn Owl taking a bath.
The barn owl (Tyto alba) is a medium-sized owl with a worldwide range and 35 individual races with distinct characteristics depending on location. The North American Barn Owl (Tyto alba pratincola) is the largest of the barn owls, comparable to a crow's size. Barn Owls are strictly nocturnal and mostly prey upon small mammals. Barn Owls are famous in the animal world for having the best-known hearing in existence. Researchers have determined that Barn Owls can successfully capture prey in one hundred percent darkness using sound alone. This unique adaptation allows Barn Owls to avoid hunting at similar times of the night to their natural predator, the Great Horned Owl.
Great Horned Owl
Other unique characteristics Barn Owls poses include the ability to breed year-round and the vocalization of a screech instead of the typical hoot sound. Barn Owls' ability to produce offspring year-round makes them a great candidate for rodent control in agricultural settings. Research has shown that Barn Owls can significantly reduce rodent populations and at minimal cost to the farmer. Barn Owls are a great alternative to incredibly harmful rodenticides that kill thousands of unintended animals each year.
Borderlands Wildlife Preserve provides the ideal habitat for Barn Owls, a rough grassland with large open spaces. We are happy to share these amazing pictures of our local Barn Owls with you all, and for an extra boost of that fall feeling, please enjoy the videos of our precious nocturnal wildlife, including a Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl, and Coyote. For more information on Barn Owls and how to create Barn Owl Boxes for agricultural and conservation uses please visit Barn Owl Box Company.
Coyote & Bat
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